This morning CAG Chair Lori Streich went on BBC Radio Bristol to talk about the Fifth Capital planning application.
In their introduction the BBC focused on the proposals to gate the development at night and the failure of the scheme to genuinely respond to the Community Vision. They describe Stokes Croft as “Bristol’s alternative area”, home to people with strong views about how their neighbourhood should be. Reference to the Tesco riots four years ago and opposition to posh flats that have nothing in common with the rest of the area. But council officers see nothing wrong with the scheme. So what’s the problem with knocking down an eye-sore and replacing it with flats?
Lori says the main objections are lack of social housing and that units for sale are priced beyond local affordability.
Pennick says that sale values will be lower than those in the viability appraisal – nothing higher than £300k. He says that values are reasonable for the local market, as demonstrated by what he has been told by local property agents.
Pennick says this is a brownfield site with a listed building so he can’t afford to provide more affordable housing.
Pennick says CAG have given wrong advice about the planning application and makes a proposal about what he describes as erroneous descriptions of a gated community. He says that at this evening’s planning committee he will propose a S.106 agreement be signed and “this will basically put into place that these gates will never be able to put on this site and close on an evening (sic). That is a legally binding document”. We assume that what he meant is ‘It is not and will not be a gated community even at night’ but his wording wasn’t exactly clear.
Pennick is challenged over his response to the open letter from local creatives etc that resulted in him criticising Wallace and Gromit. He says he doesn’t like open letters and that none of the signatories have ever contacted him to ask for a meeting about their concerns.
When asked if CAG will work with Fifth Capital, Lori says yes and suggests that Fifth Capital withdraw their application and then work with CAG and a social housing provider to come up with the right scheme and provide a solution for the site in line with the Community Vision. She says there is a passion to see the site redeveloped in the right way and stop it staying dereliect for another 40 years.
Hear the interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mr41m#auto 1hr40mins in.